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With the Tuskegee Airmen

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Local man looks back at changing times

One of the things Chester Bragg remembers about Dec. 7, 1941, was wondering what was happening to his brother Raymond. Chester was only 15, and had no clue that Pearl Harbor would begin something so big that it would swoop him up three years later and land him with one of the most famous fighting units in American history.

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Kitchen 919 to replace The Orangery

Kelly Norrell
Features columnist

Kitchen 919, a restaurant that celebrates Knoxville’s southern foothills cuisine, will soon launch at the 5412 Kingston Pike building once occupied by The Orangery, which closed last June.

Knoxville chef Deron Little, proprietor, said the name of the new restaurant reflects everyone’s favorite part of home and the ZIP code of the neighborhood. The proprietor of Seasons Innovative Bar and Grill, Little and his son, Drake Little, will run Kitchen 919.

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Lloyd Daugherty papers to be digitized, preserved

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Lloyd Daugherty would have been 60 this year. Well known as a political strategist and for his syndicated “Dixie Angler” radio show, the affable, articulate Knoxvillian was a go-to interview for national media outlets looking for a Southern point of view. When he died nearly three years ago from the ravages of diabetes, he left a trove of archival material stacked up in a closet at the office of the Tennessee Conservative Union, which he chaired for many years.

His fiancée, Keitha Kelley (whom he called his chief of staff), ran the office, and after his death, it took awhile before she felt up to cataloguing the stacks of notebooks, binders and clippings that memorialized his work from 1990-2006.

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Does UT get bang for lobbyist buck?

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

The University of Tennessee spends over a half-million dollars a year running its Nashville lobbying office to influence the legislature and state government. The top dog there is Anthony Haynes, who makes $201,088 a year with a pay raise due in July. But he has four others who help him – Carey Whitworth at $80,000; Lou Hanemann at $93,000; Valerie Yancey at $98,500. Connie Cantrell comes in 2 days a week at $31.29 an hour when the other four are overwhelmed with work.

Office space is $40,107 a year at $23.32 per square foot. These figures do not include retirement benefits, and the legislature is in session only four months of the year. So there is interest in what these folks do the other eight months of the year. It is hard to believe there is much heavy lifting when the legislature is away.

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The real Andy Holt

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Maybe the early Seventies weren’t the best of times to be a student at the University of Tennessee, but anybody with a functioning brain knew that the rattiest booth at the Roman Room was infinitely preferable to the accommodations at Fort Polk, Louisiana – AKA Fort Puke, next stop Vietnam. Protesters and self-proclaimed freaks faced off against YAFFers (Young Americans for Freedom) and the specter of war shadowed us everywhere.

Nevertheless, lots of students liked Andy Holt, even though many weren’t crazy about some of the UT president’s old-school, paternalistic ways, particularly the time he invited Billy Graham to preach in Neyland Stadium and bring noted theologian Richard Nixon along, too. A World War II veteran born in 1904 (which means he enlisted even though he was well past draft age), he’d lived through two world wars and had a different perspective on life than did most Boomers.

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Four new state senators? Possibly

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

When state Sen. Mark Green is confirmed as the new Secretary of the Army (probably this summer) he must resign his state Senate seat, which triggers a special election to fill it until his term ends in 2020. Montgomery County Commission will appoint an interim senator for four months.

State Sen. Mark Norris, current majority leader, is widely mentioned as a new federal judge in Memphis, which would remove him from the governor’s race. He is 62 – older than what the Trump administration is looking for in new federal judges – but he has influential backers and could be tapped.

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